What Are the Signs of High Blood Pressure?

The trouble with high blood pressure, or hypertension, is that often it has no symptoms. You may be feeling fine, and still have high blood pressure. The only way to be certain of accurately monitoring your blood pressure is by having it checked regularly, either at home or by a healthcare provider. By the way, a word of advice: avoid the “self-service” blood pressure machines often found in pharmacies and other public places; they can be very inaccurate. However, it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly, and to apply high blood pressure remedies if your blood pressure is outside a normal range for your age, body type, and general physical condition.

Signs of High Blood Pressure

Because so many people with high blood pressure have few signs, and because high blood pressure can cause so many serious complications, ranging from heart attack to stroke to kidney disease, high blood pressure is sometimes called “the silent killer.” However, hypertension sufferers sometimes exhibit headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, or nausea. The problem is, the signs of high blood pressure tend to be non-specific; they could be caused by several other conditions.

By the time high blood pressure causes noticeable signs, organ or tissue damage has often already occurred. That is exactly why it is so important to have your blood pressure monitored regularly. Only by knowing your blood pressure can you take the necessary steps to reduce hypertension and prevent more serious, often irreversible health complications.

How is Blood Pressure Measured?

The most accurate method for measuring blood pressure is by using a device called a sphygmomanometer. This is an inflatable cuff, attached to a scale measured by a column of mercury. The cuff is placed around your arm, usually about the same level as your heart, and inflated until the artery in your arm is squeezed shut. The observer then places a stethoscope over your arm below the cuff, over the artery, and begins to slowly release the pressure in the cuff.

The column of mercury is observed, and the point at which the blood begins moving through the artery again is noted. This number is your systolic blood pressure. Pressure continues to be slowly released, until the observer can no longer hear the sound of the blood moving through the artery because of its return to full volume. This reading is your diastolic blood pressure. The most definitive sign of high blood pressure is a systolic reading at or above 140, and a diastolic reading at or above 90. If your blood pressure falls into this category, heed the signs. High blood pressure should be treated and carefully monitored to maintain good health.